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Subject: War of the Ring vs Middle-earth Quest rss

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Michael OF

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Is Middle-earth Quest as good (or even better) than War of the Ring? I have been waiting for War of the Ring to be re-printed but that looks like it could be a very long time, if at all. However, I see great reviews on Middle-earth Quest - some even like it better.

Is Middle-earth Quest that good or should I wait for War of the Ring?

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TTorres
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Completely different style of play.

MEQ is an adventure game for the heroes and an enjoyable euro-style game of spreading influence and expanding darkness for Sauron. It's a 1 vs. many game, with asymmetrical turn/action structure, and differing objectives (that can change between plays).

WotR is an epic war game for 2 players (I personally don't enjoy it w/more than 2). It's also steeped in theme, but retreads events, characters and activity from the LotR novels. There's asymmetric play, but each player will have a large array of different forces to command (including the Fellowship and the ring bearer).

The heroes in MEQ are ones you never heard of because the events take place neatly between the end of The Hobbit and the beginning of LotR. Sauron, is Sauron, and there are many other familiar faces that appear, but they don't exist for long. They're fairly abstracted and only serve to grant you some immediate benefit, before disappearing again.

In WotR, you will play as the characters you know from LotR. Actions and events will be triggered into manifestation by player actions and card events. WotR is set up to replay the events of the books.

MEQ is set up to explore the lore and background setting of the books.


That's a quick abstract. Hope that helps a bit.

FWIW, I enjoy them both! Very different experiences.
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Michael Wheal
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WotR - reprint due August.
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Michael OF

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Excellent - Thanks! That helps a lot. That gives a clear difference between the two. I think I will wait for WotR.

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Rauli Kettunen
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MEQ for me (own both). Best game of 2009, no contest. MEQ has three times as many plays as WotR (60 vs 21), despite me owning it for half the time (April 08 for WotR, August 09 for MEQ). Much of it is down to the feeling of MEQ being more open, less scripted than WotR. Partially down to the fact that WotR is set within the events of the books, MEQ has no set parameters as such and while Sauron in MEQ is limited to the Plots in his deck, there is still variance in where he can play them and the potential to bluff the heroes.

In WotR Sauron tends to take the same few spots for VPs (because they are the easiest) while the Fellowship takes its vanilla route to Mordor each time. Playing time is slightly higher for WotR, but not by much, setup is about the same, so it's the playing experience that separates them. MEQ feels fun and varied each time, WotR feels like going through the motions that have been done in most of the plays already.
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Alex H.
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I mostly agree with Rauli. MEQ is not really an adventure game, though, as it requires a good deal of strategic planing.
In the end both games are different enough to make a straight recommendation difficult unless you provide more information on what you are looking for.
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Michael OF

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Rauli, Alex,

Thank you you very much for the wonderful feedback. I love strategy games, played D&D for years as a kid. Could never turn down a game of adventure. What I am looking for is something with lots of adventure that sweeps you away in the story or theme. I played chess for many years. While you can have many opening strategies, it was always different with each person you played. You had to counter and adjust your strategy - constantly looking for that one move to set your opponent up for defeat. A game that is fun but lets you find different strategies to win each time is sort of what I am looking for - while being steeped in theme. I have never played WotR but have heard how great it is. I was set to wait for it but as Rauli pointed out it will become that same game every time you play. I like a lot of variety and choices (and of course theme). Now it sounds like I might like MEQ better.

Thanks again for you feedback Rauli!
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Rick Holzgrafe
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WotR isn't really the same game every time. I have never seen a game play out exactly the way events happened in the novels. Sometimes Sauron sweeps the board for a military win; sometimes Frodo succumbs to the lure of the Ring; often there's a cliff-hanger ending with Sauron poised to conquer Middle-Earth even as the Ring trembles on the brink of the Cracks of Doom. The Fellowship may brave Moria, or avoid it by going down the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. Gandalf may or may not die; Strider may be recognized as Aragorn Isuldur's Heir early, or mid-game, or late, or may even be killed in the wilds. Will Lothlorien hold out, or be swarmed by orcs? Will the forces of Gondor and Rohan endure a siege at Minas Tirith, or will they boldly enter Mordor itself?

I haven't played MEQ so I can't compare it to WotR. But I find the replayability of WotR to be high, and I think it is an excellent game. If it ever does get a bit old, you can always try the expansion. (I have it, but I'm not tired of the base game yet, and haven't bothered with the expansion yet!)
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Rauli Kettunen
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WotR becoming the same depends on the players as well. But, like summoning Warriors/Greater Daemons in Chaos in the Old World isn't helping you toward a win, going off-script in WotR for me has the same effect, lowering your chances of winning. Free People interest is getting the Fellowship to Mordor ASAP, peeling off a few characters if the opportunity arises, otherwise keeping them as corruption meatshields. Shadow gets easy VPs from Rohan and DEW, heading off into Shire/Grey Havens takes a lot of dice. Very situational (if you have the cards), but most of the time SP takes: Rohan, Dol Amroth, DEW (maybe Lorien).

One of the main reasons I really like MEQ is the way it ties in all of the hero actions around one deck, which is not only your hero's life, it shows how tired and wounded that hero is, on top of which same deck is used for movement and combat. Everything to bundled around your hero deck and it feels right in how it does it. Move a lot and not rest, you're more likely to get caught winded (low on cards) and be defeated. Each hero also having an individual deck makes them feel different. Dwarf can cover Mountain and Hilly terrain, but not so much Forests or Swamps, Elf covers Forests with ease, etc.

One option might be to give WotR a try online and see if it is your kinda game. MEQ has a Vassal module, but I think you need to actual cards for that.

Quote:
I have never seen a game play out exactly the way events happened in the novels.


Wasn't saying it goes by the book, but like I mention above, given the story and victory conditions, most of the games see very much the same steps taken by both sides. Fellowship moves down one or two paths, shortest route if not revealed early, one longer route if revealed. Sauron takes his VPs from a set number of areas, no point in going for the other places because they are harder to get at and/or cost more dice. That leads to monotony, but going off script has no incentive as those certain steps are proven to work for us.
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Steven
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Dam the Man wrote:
One option might be to give WotR a try online and see if it is your kinda game. MEQ has a Vassal module, but I think you need to actual cards for that.

Well...you also need the WotR cards to play the online version. Honestly, the massive pile of components and complex rules for both games would fit very well with online play, but I can understand why the publishers want to focus on the board versions.
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Rauli Kettunen
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celiborn wrote:
Dam the Man wrote:
One option might be to give WotR a try online and see if it is your kinda game. MEQ has a Vassal module, but I think you need to actual cards for that.

Well...you also need the WotR cards to play the online version. Honestly, the massive pile of components and complex rules for both games would fit very well with online play, but I can understand why the publishers want to focus on the board versions.


Actually, the latest version includes the card texts (at least for the most part) and if not, you can grab a file off 'geek which lists the card texts. Hell, I use(d) the file (despite owning WotR) when playing online when the program didn't have the texts because it was 100x faster than going through the actual decks.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Get Middle-Earth Quest now and then get the reprinted War of the Ring (First Edition) when that's available. Should have plenty of time to save up.
 
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Michael OF

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So overall, you guys are saying MEQ is worth the money and a lot of fun?
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Alex H.
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Diemension wrote:
So overall, you guys are saying MEQ is worth the money and a lot of fun?


This is obviously a matter of taste but for me it is both.

- Do you like asymmetrical games?
- Are you ok with a LotR-based setting not directly associated with the books?
- Do you like card-based combat systems (as opposed to dice)?
- Do you accept a limited amount of randomness generated by card draws?
- Do you like limited cooperation and one-vs-all mechanics?
- Are you ok with a game that has you play under a timer? This means you won't be able to do everything you want.

If you check all or at least most of these boxes you should be ok with MEQ.
Also check out Tom Vasel's Dice Tower video review for a pretty good overview and read some of the comments users have written about this game (you find it on the top of the game page next to the ratings breakdown).

If after all this you are still interested I don't think you will be disappointed.
 
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